Tuesday, April 12, 2016


It’s raining today and our plans have changed. It’s just the right kind of day to tell a story, and the newest doll in my menagerie has an interesting one. I debated about sharing it here because the info might be a little sensitive, but I decided it probably doesn’t matter.

My friend, “Cynthia,” called a couple of months ago to ask if I would be interested in taking her dolls. I’m always interested in dolls, so I said yes. She indicated that the collection would include the American Girl doll she had given her granddaughter. “I paid a lot of money for that doll,” Cynthia said, “and then my granddaughter drug her around and ruined her hair.” In the end, Cynthia had retrieved the doll from her granddaughter, now 16 and disinterested.

It seemed odd to me that the doll was in Cynthia’s possession, and I wondered about the rest of the story. Did Cynthia take the doll to punish her granddaughter for playing with it? Perhaps the granddaughter lost interest and since it was a valuable doll, Cynthia simply took it back.

When Cynthia showed me the box of dolls, they were different from what I had pictured (collector dolls rather than play dolls), and the American Girl doll wasn’t there. I was glad that I found the courage to decline the dolls because another friend was overjoyed to have them.

So what had happened to the American Girl? “My daughter came for a short visit,” Cynthia explained, “and the American Girl doll disappeared. She either put it in the wrong box – and it’s gone – or she took it.” I secretly hoped she had taken it.  

Several weeks later I saw Cynthia again, and she handed me a lovely 18-inch doll. She had asked her daughter about the doll, she said, and her daughter replied, “Mom, I was just so embarrassed that I hid the doll in the back of a drawer.”

Madame Alexander (back), American Girl, Springfield Doll
“So embarrassed?” I wondered to myself. “Embarrassed about what?” And what good was hiding it going to do? Sensing some family drama, I kept my questions to myself. However, I could see immediately that the doll was not an American Girl but an inexpensive model from another manufacturer. I dislike that term “knock-off doll,” because every doll is worthy, and some families just can’t afford to pay $100+ for a doll. 

At any rate, I didn’t tell Cynthia that the doll isn’t an American Girl. To me, she's another opportunity, and I was delighted she had come my way.

Madame Alexander, American Girl, Springfield Doll
The doll in question is a Springfield Collection Doll, widely available through online sellers. Brand new, she sells for $25, and is often available on sale for less. And there’s something to be said for that. The Springfield Collection website (here) is charming as are their Pinterest boards. Rather than trying to sell expensive accessories, they suggest ways you can accessorize the doll yourself. And I love that. KW

 [The dolls in the picture above are "Hangin' with Friends" by Madame Alexander, American Girl "Molly," and the Springfield Collection doll.]


Chris said...

Mystery upon mystery! That poor dolly is in need of a hair dresser.

Kathy said...

At one time Cynthia told me the doll had olive-toned skin (which she does), so I asked if the doll was Josefina (sp?). She answered, "Oh, I don't know. She's what my granddaughter wanted." It seemed like Cynthia would know which doll she had purchased, so I wonder if she simply provided the money for the doll.

Cynthia also said she thought the doll might have had braids originally and when those were removed, the hair frizzed. Apparently that is what happens with braided hair. If your doll has braids, best not to remove them.

Hairdresser: Ideas abound online for dealing with doll hair, including conditioner, fabric softener, and even ironing it. Then, the next person will say, "Don't you dare use fabric softener and don't put anything in the doll's hair that you would put in your own." And it just doesn't seem to me that ironing is going to work.

Anyway, I spritzed her hair with water and also a little baby oil, and then brushed it, and it isn't any better. Then I pulled it into a pony tail. And that's the best I can do.